Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

NBA: Cavs target George to challenge Warriors dominance

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Apr 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Raptors during the second half in game six of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Fresh off their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly trying to bring Paul George over from the Indiana Pacers to add firepower and defense to the Eastern Conference champs.

George, a 27-year-old four-time All-Star, is a highly sought after target in the NBA this offseason and combining him with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving could produce a viable challenger to the dominant Warriors next season.

ESPN reported Monday on a possible three-way deal that would see the Cavs send forward Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets, the Nuggets send several young players to the Pacers, and George forming a new Big Three in Cleveland with James and Irving.

“This blockbuster trade from the Cavaliers standpoint is all determined by what the Golden State Warriors did in the NBA Finals,” ESPN pundit Chris Haynes said on Monday.

Earlier this month the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in five games to claim their second championship over Cleveland in three years.

“The roster as structured right now, (the Cavs) don’t feel like they have the talent and depth to contend with the Warriors,” he added.

The sticking point in the deal is that the Nuggets are not yet willing to part with either of their two best players – 20-year-old guard Jamal Murray and Serbian big man Nikola Jokić – but an agreement could still be reached, Haynes said.

A team that would suffer if George went to Cleveland is the Los Angeles Lakers, who were hoping to nab George to serve as a leader in their locker room, which is budding with young talent.

George, who can become a free agent after next season, had previously expressed interest in returning to LA, where he is originally from, but may not be quick to change teams again if the Cavs move takes place and proves successful.

“If the Cleveland Cavaliers win a title and dethrone the Warriors, Paul George really has to consider his initial basis of trying to get to LA,” Haynes said.

“This is going to be a nightmare for the Lakers and could change the entire look of free agency next season.”

Whether Cleveland is successful in bringing in George or not, the team will also pursue other big names around the Association this offseason including sharp-shooting forward Carmelo Anthony, who may be freed from his New York Knicks deal.

“If things work out in the Cavaliers favor, they will have the firepower necessary to feel like they can contend with the Golden State Warriors,” Haynes said. — By Rory Carroll

(Editing by Larry Fine)

Tags: , , , ,

Lue to meet with Lakers’ Walton about LeBron

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates during the NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had a brief chat with Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton during summer league action in Las Vegas on Saturday and plans to have dinner with him soon, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The topic of discussion? LeBron James, who jumped from the Cavaliers to the Lakers in free agency last week to sign a four-year, $154 million deal.

Lue will reportedly meet with Walton and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw to tell them what he knows about coaching James.

Apparently, it will be a short conversation.

“I’ll just tell them LeBron’s easy,” said Lue, per the Times. “People get this whole thing built up like he’s hard to coach. It’s not. LeBron’s not the problem. It’s the outside tension that’s the problem. Just put added pressure immediately on the coaches, on his teammates. Now everything you do is under a microscope. … So it’s going to be a totally different change for the Lakers. They’ll be able to handle it.

“LeBron is easy to play with, very unselfish. LeBron can bring guys along, make sure they’re doing the right thing. It’s going to be good. The outside is what you’ve gotta be able to block out.”

James, 33, is the latest — and one of the greatest — legends to play for the Lakers. He has averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in 1,143 career contests.

This marks the first time James will play for a team in the hotly contested Western Conference, which includes heavyweights such as the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. James spent his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his next four seasons with the Miami Heat, and his last four seasons back at home with Cleveland.

Shortly after James’ decision was announced, the Lakers landed free agent swingman Lance Stephenson for one year and $4.5 million, free agent point guard Rajon Rondo for one year and $9 million and they re-signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $12 million deal. The Lakers also agreed with free agent center JaVale McGee on a one-year, league-minimum contract.

The Cavaliers had hoped to re-sign James, who has appeared in eight consecutive NBA Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly also had strong interest in the 6-foot-8, 250-pound superstar who entered the league directly out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

—Field Level Media

Tags: , , , ,

NBA free agency roundup: Big names signing as world waits for LeBron

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Jun 8, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) passes the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the second quarter in game four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA free agency period began at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, and the wait for LeBron James to decide where he will play next season officially began. But not everyone was interested in waiting around.

Reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors will reportedly continue their successful partnership, agreeing to a two-year deal with a player option for the second year late Saturday night.

According to multiple reports, Durant will make $30 million in 2018-19 and have a $31.5 million option for the following season. While he declined his $26.2 million option for next season to become a free agent, Durant had said all along he wanted to stay in Golden State.

Durant, 29, averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 68 regular-season games in 2017-18, missing time due to a rib cartilage fracture.

In the postseason, Durant contributed 29 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 21 games, guiding Golden State past the San Antonio Spurs, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

—ESPN reported that James’ agent, Rich Paul, is meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers’ brass in Los Angeles, adding that James is not expected to attend the meeting despite being in Southern California.


76ers coach Brett Brown was said to be on hand with owners to lead the meeting, likely pointing to the assemblage of young stars like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid they could surround James with.

Cleveland Cavaliers GM Koby Altman also spoke to both James and Paul in a phone call right after free agency opened at 12:01 a.m., according to the network.

James, 33, would have made $35.6 million in the 2018-19 season had he exercised his option with the Cavs. According to ESPN, James could still fetch as much as $207 million over five years from the Cavaliers, while other teams can offer a max of $152 million over four years. James has been linked to multiple teams in free agency, most notably the Los Angeles Lakers and 76ers.

—At the stroke of midnight, Paul tweeted that he has “unfinished business” in Houston. At that same time, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the star point guard is poised to sign a four-year, $160 million max contract to stay with the Rockets.

With Paul running the offense, the Rockets surged to the best record in the NBA’s regular season at 65-17. But Houston lost to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference finals, losing the final two games with Paul out because of a hamstring injury.

The Rockets also will bring back swingman Gerald Green on a one-year minimum salary contract worth $2.4 million, according to multiple reports, while starting swingman Trevor Ariza is reportedly heading to Phoenix on a one-year, $15 million deal.

—George committed to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder with a four-year, $137 million max contract, multiple outlets reported late Saturday night.

George was actually in town Saturday night, as star teammate Russell Westbrook reportedly threw a big party. TheHoopCentral tweeted a video of George, standing next to Westbrook, announcing, “If y’all didn’t quite get it, let me say it again: I’m here to stay. I’m here to stay.”

George, who would have been among the top prizes available in free agency, was traded to the Thunder last summer from the Indiana Pacers, giving Oklahoma City a season to try to work out a longer-term relationship. George declined to exercise his player option for 2018-19, making him an unrestricted free agent as of midnight.

The Thunder also re-signed forward Jerami Grant to a three-year, $27 million deal, according to ESPN. Per the report, the third year of the deal is a player option.

—Jordan, who declined his player option with the Los Angeles Clippers last week, agreed to a one-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, according to multiple reports.

The center’s salary with the Mavericks will approach the $24.1 million that he would have earned with the Clippers had he exercised his option, according to the New York Times.

Jordan has a bit of history regarding offseason talks with both the Mavericks and the Clippers. In July 2015, he verbally agreed to join the Mavs on a four-year, $80 million contract during the moratorium period before contracts could be officially signed. After having second thoughts and getting recruited by his Los Angeles teammates to re-sign, he reneged and signed a four-year, $88 million deal to stay with the Clippers.

—The Denver Nuggets and restricted free agent center Jokic agreed on a five-year max contract, according to multiple media reports.

The deal reportedly is worth $148 million and does not include a player option for the fifth year, as many similar deals do. The Nuggets reportedly sought the lack of a player option in exchange for previously declining Jokic’s $1.6 million option for 2018-19.

Jokic, 23, led the Nuggets in three offensive categories last season when he averaged 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists. He also shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free-throw line.

—The New Orleans Pelicans and Lakers each called center DeMarcus Cousins after free agency began and Cousins is expected to schedule meetings with both teams, according to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that Cousins would be an “increasingly likely target” for the Lakers on a short-term, max-level contract.

** Houston will reportedly meet with restricted free agent center Clint Capela and his representatives in Los Angeles on Sunday after agreeing to terms with Paul and Green.

Capela is coming off a career year with the Rockets in which he averaged 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds while making a league-best 65.2 percent of his field goal attempts.

—Guard Will Barton is reportedly expected to re-sign with the Nuggets on a four-year contract reportedly worth more than $50 million and containing a player option in the fourth year.

—Former Dallas Mavericks forward Doug McDermott will join the Indiana Pacers on a three-year contract that, according to ESPN, is worth $22 million and fully guaranteed.

—The Brooklyn Nets kept their best long-range shooter, guard Joe Harris, and also picked up frontcourt depth with well-traveled Ed Davis, most recently of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Harris is expected to get a two-year, $16 million contract while Davis reportedly agreed to a one-year, $4.4 million contract.

—Stein reported that Minnesota plans to offer guard Jimmy Butler the maximum extension, four years for around $110 million, once he is eligible to sign on July 9.

However, Butler is not expected to be interested in an extention this offseason, as he could sign a five-year deal for $187 million or become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Wojnarowski reported that free agent guard Derrick Rose agreed to a one-year deal to remain with the club.

—Big man Ersan Ilyasova, who began his 10-year career with the Bucks, is returning to Milwaukee, according to ESPN.

Ilyasova reportedly agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract. The third year of the deal is reportedly not guaranteed.

—The Toronto Raptors have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with restricted free agent Fred VanVleet, a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year last season.

The deal is worth $18 million, according to a report by Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania.

—The Boston Celtics are retaining unrestricted free agent center Aron Baynes with a two-year, $11 million contract, according to multiple reports.

He averaged 6.0 points and posted career highs in rebounds (5.4) and assists (1.1) per game in 81 appearances (67 starts) in his first season with Boston.

—The San Antonio Spurs are keeping forward Rudy Gay and re-adding swingman Marco Belinelli, according to multiple reports.

Earlier this month, Gay opted out of his contract with San Antonio that would have paid him $8.8 million in 2018-19. Instead, he will make $10 million next season on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Belinelli, 32, will sign a two-year, $12 million contract, according to Wojnarowski.

—The Memphis Grizzlies reached an agreement on a one-year deal with forward Omri Casspi, according to ESPN.

Terms were not available, but the Grizzlies are limited to smaller moves unless they can unload Chandler Parsons, who has $49 million owed to him over the next two seasons.

—The Portland Trail Blazers opened free agency by reaching a one-year deal with guard Nik Stauskas, ESPN reported.

Terms were not announced, but the deal is likely for the league minimum given the Blazers’ salary cap constraints. Stauskas, 24, was the eighth overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in 2014, but has been limited to 7.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 267 career games.

—Field Level Media

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tags: , , ,

James sinks buzzer-beater to lift Cavs over Timberwolves

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Feb 7, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) throws a pass past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – LeBron James resurrected Cleveland’s stagnant season, for one night at least, when he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to lift the Cavaliers to a 140-138 overtime home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

After Cleveland called timeout in the backcourt with one second left, James caught a long pass near the foul line.

Under pressure from Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, the four-times league MVP spun around and launched a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key over the top of the lunging defender.

The ball caught nothing but net, sending the crowd into delirium as the team’s recent woes were temporarily forgotten.

“Coach (Tyronn) Lue called up a great play, Jeff Green gave me a heck of a pass and I just trusted my instincts and let it go,” James said in a courtside interview.

The win helped ease the pressure on James and a team that was whipped by the lowly Orlando Magic the previous day.

“It was a great win for us. We needed this after that tough loss last night to Orlando,” James continued.

“They (Minnesota) shot 58 percent from the field and we were still able to get a win. We played Cavaliers basketball tonight and that’s all you could ask.”

The win lifted the Cavaliers to 31-22, seven games behind the East-leading Boston Celtics.

The Cavaliers have struggled this season after making the NBA finals for the past three years, beating the Golden State Warriors once and losing to the same team the other two times.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Adelaide, South Australia; Editing by John O’Brien

Tags: , , ,